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07/18/09 7:04 PM ET

Volquez slated for bullpen session

Reds right-hander eager to get back on mound

CINCINNATI -- The slow progress that's been Reds pitcher Edinson Volquez's rehabilitation from elbow tendinitis is about to speed up.

Volquez is scheduled to work in a 25- to 30-pitch bullpen side session Monday in Los Angeles while the team is at Dodger Stadium.

On Saturday, Volquez long-tossed on flat ground again with 30 throws at distances of up to 120 feet. There were no issues.

"They say 120, but you always go a little bit farther than that," said Volquez, who has been on the disabled list since June 2.

Volquez will complete three bullpen sessions -- one every other day -- before he can head out for a Minor League rehabilitation assignment.

"That's the plan if he feels right," Reds manager Dusty Baker said.

Volquez has reasons to be eager to pitch again. Between his current DL stint and a previous one for back spasms, he's thrown just one inning for the Reds since May 16.

"I can't wait. I don't know where the mound is right now," Volquez joked.

"That's OK, I will direct him," Baker said. "It's that hump in the middle of the field."

A 17-game winner and an All-Star last season, the 26-year-old Volquez is 4-2 with a 4.35 ERA in nine starts this season.

The Reds have proceeded deliberately with Volquez after the club had to shut down his throwing program in late June when a second MRI test revealed that inflammation hadn't completely left his elbow. He was just about to progress to mound work when everything was halted.

Saturday was Edinson Volquez bobblehead night. Volquez was checking out a ceramic doppelganger in his hands --- only to notice a teammate had chopped off both of its arms.

"It's kind of close," Volquez said of the doll. "It's got a better nose than I do."

Mark Sheldon is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.